AC+ NBA 6/18


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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets

 6/18 Excel Optimizer/Datasheet

(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)

 6/18 Google Sheets Optimizer/Datasheet


- Today's main slate features 2 games. Nobody is on a back to back.

- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is PHI v ATL at 222 points. The game with the lowest over/under is LAC v UTA at 220 points.


Welcome to our brand new section for the NBA Playoffs! This section will provide you with a full breakdown (or 'blueprint') of both players and strategies we like for tonight's games. Our goal is for this section to replace our usual 'Need to Know' and 'Core Plays' sections, as there is typically much less injury news in the playoffs and we want to focus in more on matchups and lineup construction! 

Tonight's Lineup Construction: 

This sub-section will briefly breakdown lineup construction strategies to consider for tonight's slate. Are there high tier must plays? Is there a ton of cheap value? Should you go Stars and Scrubs? Etc.

There are 4 players in the top-tier tonight, and I like each of them. I didn’t write about Paul George, but I obviously like him too as he’ll be the go-to option for the Clippers without Kawhi in the lineup. I think this is about as balanced a top-tier as I’ve ever seen, and it’ll probably make me more inclined to go for a more balanced strategy tonight, because I’ll have a tough time choosing between the 4 top-tier players. I’ll probably start by locking in Tobias; I think he’ll have pretty low ownership tonight and should definitely bounce back, so he could be a good contrarian play in GPP contests. I also love Reggie Jackson, so I’ll probably lock him in next. At that point, I might optimize to see which of the top-tier guys I’m able to fit in my lineup. Getting Mitchell and Young (the two lowest priced top-tier guys) would probably be the most ideal situation, because I think they have just as good a chance to put up crazy numbers as does Embiid or George (who are more expensive), so I’ll use that extra salary to spend up on some of these solid mid-tier options. 

Tier 1 ($8,000+)

Each of the following tiers will provide our top 2-3 value plays (depending on how many games there are) of the night from within the specified price range.

Note: We will be using DraftKings prices for the price-range classifications. 

1. Donovan Mitchell ($9,300) *assuming he plays*

Mitchell wasn’t as aggressive in game 5, perhaps because Bojan got off to such a good start and virtually everyone on the court was hitting shots, so he didn’t have to create as much for himself or others. However, with his back up against the wall tonight, I expect him to come out with some fire and be in attack mode early. The Jazz aren’t going to go down with Bojan or Ingles making plays, they’re gonna give the keys to their star player and let him create some magic, and I think Mitchell will do so tonight.

2. Trae Young ($9,900)

Trae Young has been absolutely lethal in this series. No matter how poorly he starts or how far down his team goes, he leads the charge back and is the heart and soul of this team. They can’t stop him from getting to the free throw line, and he’s going to be able to get there again tonight, especially being at home. If they don’t bring enough help, he’ll score in the paint with his floater and finishing game, but if you bring a lot of help, he’ll make the kick out to wide open shooters. His points, assists, or BOTH will be high tonight, and I love Trae’s floor.

3. Joel Embiid ($11,000)

After an incredibly frustrating game 5 loss, in which Joel Embiid was a complete non-factor late in the game (and missed 2 pivotal free throws), I expect him to respond with anger tonight. He’s going to go right at Clint Capela early and often, and I think we’re probably going to see a fairly dominant Embiid tonight. His knee looked completely fine after game 4 in which he looked banged up, so he’s going to be ready to go tonight, and I’m fairly confident that he has a huge game.

Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)

1. Tobias Harris ($7,700)

This is a really hot take, obviously, because Harris has looked pretty bad recently. He scored 4 points (!) last game and was completely uninvolved in the offense at times, and I think that has to change tonight. I expect PHI to go to Tobias early in an attempt to get him going; he’s a 20+ ppg guy, and he needs to get back to that tonight if the Sixers want to have any chance at winning this game and this series. He’s not going to have 4 points again, I can promise you that. 

2. Reggie Jackson ($5,200)

Reggie Jackson being 5.2k is a CRIME! He put up 22-3-2 last game, but I think he can play even better tonight. He’s shot the ball unbelievably well from three and has been able to get to the rim pretty easily too, so he’s going to continue to be that second offensive option as long as Kawhi is out with his injury. With PG and Morris unlikely to score as much as they did last game, Jackson should have an opportunity to put up even more than 22 points, which makes him a great value play at the bottom of the mid-tier.

3. Royce O’Neale ($5,000)

Royce O’Neale has quietly had solid dfs nights throughout this series, and I could see tonight being his best fantasy night in awhile. He hasn’t been the main focus (that’s an understatement) of the Clippers defense, and he’ll be even less of a focus after Bojan went off like he did. Also, Royce was a bit hesitant throughout game 5 in terms of shooting the ball, and I think he’ll be a lot more willing to shoot the open three tonight, especially given he can knock it down fairly consistently.

Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)

1. Nicolas Batum ($4,900)

Batum led the Clippers in minutes last game with 42, and I really love the floor you get with him at 4.9k. Also, he’ll probably be a slightly bigger part of the offense tonight after such huge performances from both PG and Morris; the Jazz will probably shade over a bit to those guys, which should open up shots and scoring opportunities for Batum and some others. He’ll have Gobert on him at times and should be able to take advantage from the three point line, and he’s always going to get his fair share of rebounds.

2. Terrence Mann ($3,200)

As long as Terrence Mann is only 200 dollars above the site minimum but is going to be getting the start, I will like him a lot. He’s a hustle guy who picks up lots of peripheral stats (kind of like Bruce Brown), and he’s been given the open three at times, which he looks more and more willing to shoot. So, with the minutes and shooting opportunities he should get, along with his price tag, Mann is an awesome option at the bottom of the low-tier.

3. Danilo Gallinari ($4,500)

Even though he doesn’t start, Gallinari continues to see around 30 minutes and 8-15 shots, and that makes him a really solid option at 4.5k. As the series wears on, I think Nate MacMillan will go more and more to his veteran players as opposed to these young guys; he’ll opt for Lou Williams and Gallinari as opposed to Huerter and Bogdanovic for some of those more important minutes in the 4th quarter.


Joel Embiid MORE than 33.5 Points

Even though Embiid was dominant in the first half in game 5, he really slowed down towards the end of that game as ATL made their comeback. He’s going to come out extremely aggressively tonight, and I think it’ll result in some early scoring for him. He’s angry (as he should be), and he’ll be playing for his playoff life tonight, so I expect him to absolutely go off. He’ll shoot tons of free throws and score tons of points.

Donovan Mitchell MORE than 33.5 Points

Mitchell took a bit of a backseat to his teammates last game who were simply shooting the ball better than him. But, with his back up against the wall tonight, I don’t think he’s going to go down with his teammates playing that large of a role. He’s going to be more of a focal point tonight, and he’s going to be extremely aggressive right out of the gate, so I could definitely see him having a huge scoring night.

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Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!